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Open Access Publications from the University of California


CIEE is a dedicated group of experts who define, conduct, and manage public-interest energy research. Based in the University of California, at CITRIS, CIEE puts its experts and other leading researchers from universities, government, industry, and nonprofits, to work on energy challenges, yielding new ideas and technologies to meet California’s pace-setting energy goals. 

California Institute for Energy and Environment (CIEE)

There are 51 publications in this collection, published between 1994 and 2021.
Behavior (11)

A Review of Energy Reduction Competitions: What Have We Learned?

This report reviews a representative selection of completed and ongoing energy reduction competitions and uses the lessons learned to provide best practice guidance on the design, implementation, and evaluation of future programs. We address four key research questions: How effective have been competitions at changing behavior and reducing energy? How long do energy savings persist after the end of the competition? Under what circumstances are competitions more or less effective? What are common best practices for the design, implementation and evaluation of energy and resource conservation competitions? The primary target audiences for this report are electric and natural gas utilities seeking to broaden their portfolio of behavior-based interventions, as well as potential designers, implementers and evaluators of energy reduction competitions.

Behavioral Assumptions Underlying California Residential Sector Energy Efficiency Programs

This white paper explores the ways in which residential consumers are addressed by California utility-managed energy efficiency programs, and offers suggestions for improvements that might better support the state’s ambitious greenhouse gas reduction goals. The report reviews the assumptions that underlie the state’s residential energy efficiency policies and programs. A key set of assumptions can be found in a physical-technical-economic model (PTEM) that has oriented energy efficiency program design for several decades. The authors examine a suite of programs currently in operation and identify four somewhat different approaches being taken to influenceconsumer behavior and choice. They are variants of the PTEM, but also diverge by adding somewhat more realistic elements.

Behavioral Assumptions in Energy Efficiency Potential Studies

This paper is one of a series of white papers commissioned by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) to address topics in energy use and behavior. It considers the behavioral assumptions in energy efficiency potential studies, and options for modifying and supplementing these assumptions, using recent California energy efficiency potential studies as the main example.

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Energy Use in Buildings Enabling Technologies (28)

Meter Scoping Study

This report presents a summary of metering technology and cost information from past studies in an attempt to identify key barriers to more widespread implementation.

A Distributed Intelligent Automated Demand Response Building Management System

The goal of the 2.5 year Distributed Intelligent Automated Demand Response (DIADR) project was to reduce peak electricity load of Sutardja Dai Hall at UC Berkeley by 30% while maintaining a healthy, comfortable, and productive environment for the occupants. We sought to bring together both central and distributed control to provide “deep” demand response at the appliance level of the building as well as typical lighting and HVAC applications. This project brought together Siemens Corporate Research and Siemens Building Technology (the building has a Siemens Apogee Building Automation System (BAS)), Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (leveraging their Open Automated Demand Response (openADR), Auto-­Demand Response, and building modeling expertise), and UC Berkeley (related demand response research including distributed wireless control, and grid-­to-­building gateway development).

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Electric Grid (12)

Grid Futures through Scenario Planning

For most of the 20th century, the electric grid had a relatively simple role: moving electricity from central power plants to the consumers. Its behavior was predictable, operation was largely deterministic, and an operator was in control. But with growing uncertainty, aging infrastructure and uncertainty in energy markets, we must begin to think about the future of the energy grid and restructuring to effectively rise to these challenges.

White Paper: The EcoBlock Project and the “Own Use” Exemption under Public Utilities Code Section 218 – A Way Forward for Privately Operated Microgrids

The Oakland EcoBlock project (EcoBlock) seeks to develop a microgrid within an existing city block in Oakland California as a demonstration project on the viability of retrofitting an existing block of residential and commercial buildings into a microgrid capable of islanding from the grid. EcoBlock has considered a variety of different potential regulatory frameworks that might accommodate the objectives of the project. Based on an analysis of current law, the working model has been to rely upon existing provisions within the Public Utilities Code that recognize the right of individuals to install and operate electric equipment outside of Commission regulation if the generation, storage and distribution of power is limited to the owners’ “own use.” This white paper examines the “own use” exemption in section 218 of the Public Utilities Code and explores its potential as well as its limitations in the context of microgrids and recent Commission action. In so doing, it touches upon the recently issued Microgrid Proceeding Proposed Decision (Microgrid PD), the Commission Staff paper upon which the PD is premised and issues that arise out of both. This white paper, however, is not intended to be a critique of either and, rather, is intended to prompt questions and reflections on how the policy decisions made in these documents will foster or retard the development of projects like EcoBlock.

Distribution System Voltage Management and Optimization for Integration of Renewables and Electric Vehicles: Research Gap Analysis

California is striving to achieve 33% renewable penetration by 2020 in accordance with the state’s Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS). The behavior of renewable resources and electric vehicles in distribution systems is creating constraints on the penetration of these resources into the distribution system. One such constraint is the ability of present-­‐‑day voltage management methodologies to maintain proper distribution system voltage profiles in the face of higher penetrations of PV and electric vehicle technologies. This white paper describes the research gaps that have been identified in current Volt/VAR Optimization and Control (VVOC) technologies, the emerging technologies which are becoming available for use in VVOC, and the research gaps which exist and must be overcome in order to realize the full promise of these emerging technologies.

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